7 Strategies to Bypass Winter Weight Gain
Shorter and cooler (or downright freezing) days are the reality if you are living where the snow is falling. Comfort food may be calling your name to keep you warm and cozy but may lead to unwanted fat and pounds.
Check out these 7 strategies, compliments of JJ Virgin, to keep you lean and warm this winter.
- Sleep longer. Turn off your TV, stop wasting hours on Facebook, and use darker winter hours to get more zzz’s. A study in the Annals of Internal Medicine compared two groups of overweight, healthy participants on calorie-restricted diets who slept either 8.5 or 5.5 hours each night for two weeks. What a difference those three hours made: the 8.5-hour group burned 400 more calories every night, lost more fat, preserved more muscle, and woke up less hungry than the 5.5-hour group. Aim for seven to nine hours of quality, uninterrupted sleep every night, and during winter nights go more towards nine.
- Warm up with soup. Make soup a cold-weather staple and bypass the winter weight gain. A study in Obesity Research showed people who ate two servings of lower-calorie soup lost 50% more weight than people who ate the same amount of calories in higher-calorie snack foods. Soup makes it easy to combine hunger-busting protein, veggies, and fibrous starches like lentils and beans in a chicken or vegetable broth. Hot liquid-based foods like soup also force you to slow down so you eat less and get full faster. I’m a big fan of stoup, a soup/ stew hybrid you can whip up in your crockpot.
- Make green tea your hot drink. Skip the sugar-loaded Starbucks latte for a calming cup of naturally sweet hot green tea. Green tea curbs your appetite so you’re less tempted to order that high-sugar impact cinnamon chip scone. Sipping green tea throughout the day also generates body heat so you stay warm and burn more fat. A study in Physiology & Behavior concluded that green tea helps improve fat burning.
- Burst to blast fat. Even if you’ve got a foot of snow and it’s freezing outside…that’s still not a reason to Move Your Body. Check out www.moveyourbody.ca for all the great classes offered or check out:
- De-stress. December brings overcrowded shopping malls, familial tension, and year-end work deadlines. Feeling the pressure? Stress raises cortisol, which makes you store fat. Put down the double-shot candy cane martini and develop some anti-stress tactics. That might mean deep breathing, meditating, yoga, a hot bath, or walking your terrier around the snow-laden block. Figure out what works for you and prioritize it.
- Digest well. Your normally rational aunt becomes a tyrannical carb pusher during the holidays. You’re going to keep my three-bite rule: that’s three polite bites and step away from the dessert. Also, have on hand your digestive enzymes. They help break down protein and fat while slowing or even blocking carbohydrate absorption. They aren’t a free pass, but they could be that extra nudge you need to ditch those last stubborn holiday pounds.
- Stick with a schedule. Hunger lands you in places you’d rather not be. Namely, in the freezer for an 11 p.m. butter pecan raid. I find people who skip breakfast usually more than make up those calories throughout the day, particularly at night. That’s why you start every morning with a protein shake within an hour of waking. Then you’ll eat by the Plate every four to six hours. You stop eating three hours before bed, and if you have bedtime munchies, you’ll evaluate your dinner journal and have a glass of water. One study at the University of Washington found water helped curb cravings for everyone who tried it.
Let me know how these strategies work for you and what strategies you would like to share!!!
Tanya Morrison has been in the Health/Wellness and Fitness Field for over two decades. She is the creator of the Busy Mama Detox which is a 12 week program that runs in January, April and September of each year. To find out more about this life changing program check out the testimonials and information at www.busymamadetox.com. Tanya also teaches many different classes at Move Your Body Studio in Bobcaygeon, www.moveyourbody.ca and has written Healthy Snacks for Kids, Get the Skinny on Skinny Jeans & Living Vibrantly with Raw Goodness – Your Guide to Juicing & Blending. You can get your PDF copy here